profile of a killer Essay examples

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During the last decade the world has witnessed a staggering elevation in serial killings. To give some insight into the scale of the problem posed by the serial killer, in the United States can be gained from examining the statistics for just one year. In 1989 (the last year for which detailed figures are available) there were 21,500 recorded homicides, of which some 5,000 are unsolved. Unofficial sources believe that as many as a hundred serial killers may be at large at any given time. Add to this the number of known victims of serial killers, then between 3,500 and 5,000 people are killed by serial murderers every year. (Lane and Gregg 3) These numerous multiple murders, often without consequence and justice, have shocked civilized…show more content…
Characteristics of a serial killer are imperative in demarcating the type of person capable of committing a serial murder. "Most known serial killers are 25-35 years old" (Falk 85). "It is also significant that the victims of serial murderers are not concentrated in any age range" (Falk 85). "Serial killings are almost always committed by white males instead of blacks because class resentment is far more likely to occur to a person with a good education than someone without an appreciation of how society works" (Falk 85). To truly understand the phenomenon of serial murder one must know what motivates a person to commit such a horrendous crime. Patterns of serial killing fall broadly into two categories of motivation: "Extrinsic, where the impulse to kill is located outside the killer’s psyche-that is, he perceives a rational reason for murder in outside situations and events" (Fox and Levin 12). "More frequently the motivation is intrinsic to the psyche of the killer, whether or not that motivation is apparent to an independent observer" (Fox and Levin 12). Closer psychological analysis of known cases indicates that serial murders fit into one of four main types according to the predominate homicidal motivation: Visionaries, Missionaries, Hedonists, and Power Seekers. Visionaries include killers who act in response to "voices" and alter egos, where
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